Connecticut enacts energy policy to expand renewables, natural gas

On July 8, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation that will allow the state to overhaul its renewable energy policy and expand access to natural gas resources. According to the governor’s office, the new measures will bring cheaper, cleaner, more reliable power to residents and businesses while creating jobs.

The cost of electricity in Connecticut has long been the highest in the United States, and both individuals and small businesses have been petitioning the state government to address the issue. Monday Malloy announced the steps the state will be taking to implement its first ever Comprehensive Energy Strategy.

“For too long, the cost of energy has been a prohibitive factor is making our state a more competitive place to live, work and do business,” Governor Malloy said.  “Thanks to the vision of this plan and the hard work of the legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee, specifically the chairs and ranking members, today we take meaningful steps in lowering costs for residents and businesses.”

The new measures will expand Connecticut’s renewable energy policy, including steps to increase the state’s utilization of Canadian hydropower, and pave the way for expansion of the state's natural gas distribution system.

In response to the legislation, the state’s natural gas distribution companies have submitted a ten-year plan for expanding access to natural gas for homes and businesses across the state.  This plan is under review by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

DEEP will also be releasing a Request for Proposals for long-term energy contracts from renewable energy projects in the New England region to obtain cheaper prices for these clean energy sources.

Announced too are a plan to significantly boost the state’s energy efficiency program and the kick-off of the EVConnecticut Incentives initiative, which will provide financial assistance to private businesses and municipalities interested in installing publicly-accessible electric vehicle charging stations.

“These new programs and actions demonstrate my commitment to quickly following through on the recommendations contained in Connecticut’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy,” Governor Malloy said.  “These programs announced today and many others already underway are moving us closer to a cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy future for Connecticut every day.  I want to thank the entire General Assembly for their work on this issue.”

The legislation is Public Act 13-298 (An Act Concerning Implementation of Connecticut’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy and Various Revisions to the Energy Statutes) and Public Act 13-303 (An Act Concerning Connecticut’s Clean Energy Goals).

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